Log in

No account? Create an account
22 April 2010 @ 11:27 am
The Spirit of Radio: Moon Brick of the 2112 HemiKilroy as Thick as a Darkside Sphere Was Here.  
For the record,1 last night's musical violence2 is one of the biggest reasons why I consider the "Random Play" functions found on every portable music player, digital music software application, and even some CD players to be an abomination. Just hearing a fragment of a concept suite is bad enough; imagine track after track of those fragments, all mashed up in the wrong order.

Moon Brick of the 2112 HemiKilroy as Thick as a Darkside Sphere Was Here.

My eclectic musical tastes also encompass classical, jazz (traditional, modern and fusion), New Age, and Late '60s Psychedelic, so the results would be even more jarring than that.

But, wait! It gets worse! You see, my collection of "music" files also includes a nontrivial number of Librivox audiobooks and Numbers Station Recordings.

Most music software, of course, will try to dump every MP3 or OGG file on your system into one big "library", and Shuffle the whole damned thing.

It should now be clear why I never take part in those "set your MP3 player to Random and answer questions based on what track comes up" memes:3

What is the story of my life?
[An eerie child's voice recites a long sequence of numbers, in Czechoslovakian.]

What should I do with my life?
"We had gone perhaps ten miles when the ground began to rise very rapidly. We were, as I was later to learn, nearing the edge of one of Mars' long-dead seas, in the bottom of which my encounter with the Martians had taken place... ."

So, yeah.

1No Pun Intended.
2Thank you for the phrase "musical violence", cpxbrex.
3I don't know this person; I snagged the first appropriate result from a Google search for "random mp3 meme".

Araquan Skytracer: Radioaraquan on April 22nd, 2010 07:23 pm (UTC)
I suppose you could always rip the whole album (or particular multi-track piece if it's not the entire disc) as a single file. Most rippers that I've used have an option for that, probably for that very reason.

While I pretty much never use random features, I've still joined a few things just to preserve their integrity as a single entity. Such pairings in my collection include the two halves of "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" (well, halves is perhaps too strong, but the final act of the show is a separate track on the CD); "Space Intro" and "Fly Like An Eagle"; "Threshold" and "Jet Airliner."
Moral Explorernotthebuddha on April 22nd, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Our host could also use http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audacity to join the inseparable tracks as one before allowing them to be shuffled.
Moonfiremoonfires on April 22nd, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
That's what playlists are for.
one in a billionsiege on April 23rd, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
Indeed, and this is why I'm really grooving on iTunes' new ability to choose whether the contents of a given playlist will be included in its "party shuffle" option.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on April 23rd, 2010 12:37 am (UTC)
Okay, okay, okay, let me get this straight . . . You don't like randomize functions because they mash together songs without any particular rhyme or reason but you like radio?

Isn't a radio station basically a song randomizer, where the songs are chosen by someone else, thus reducing the chances that you'll actually like the song, and they have a lot of commercial breaks? I mean, hey, I'm glad you like the term musical violence, but when I came up with it I was thinking about radio!
Your Obedient Serpent: tell it like it ISathelind on April 23rd, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
Well, firstly: Most radio stations don't include numbers station files and audio books in their repertoire, and most or all of them stick to a fairly consistent set of subgenres of music. The Egregious Extraction of a Single Track That Doesn't Stand On Its Own is a rare incidence, at least in my experience.

Secondly, I'm going to step out on a limb and assert that being a DJ1 is an art form in itself. A good DJ can pick and choose songs from different bands and different eras and arrange them in such a way that they complement and enhance each other in an aesthetically-pleasing progression. That's just as true on radio as it is in a back-alley rave.

This is why I miss KMAX so much: their stated bailiwick was "'80s, '90s, or whatever we feel like", and they excelled in digging up songs from various eras that weren't the ones you that get constant airplay decades later, weren't the ones you even remembered until you heard them again, and when you heard them, sandwiched between some '60s classic and something just released last week that meshed together perfectly, you wondered why you didn't hear that one anymore.

Human input is not the same as random selection.

1Or station manager, or whoever decides which songs get played in which order.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on April 23rd, 2010 05:24 am (UTC)
That's a good point. I was even saying to Adrienne about how I don't mind the DJs chiming in with a joke or news or what the song was or whatever, it was just the commercials I minded. You're right! DJing is an art. (Which I shouldn't have needed to be told, considering how much hip hop I listen to. Oh, well, hindsight is sharp eyed.)
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on April 23rd, 2010 05:51 am (UTC)
And that, along with local news and traffic reports, is why I like radio. At last, I muster the coherence to explain it clearly! I need to drink beer when posting more often.

In re: DJs, the KUFX morning guy is Greg Kihn, a one-hit wonder from the '80s ("Jeopardy") who has contacts all over the rock world. Kihn and KUFX also sponsor two annual local competitions -- "The School of Rock", for high school-sponsored groups, and "Battle of the Bands", for local grown-up garage bands. The entrants get air time, and some of them are EXCELLENT.

... I confess that, now and then, I even find the ads useful, since they're often for local businesses and events that, by preference, I patronize over big chains.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on April 23rd, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
You got me! You got me! LOL. I concede the point! I do not suspect I will be tuning in, myself, but you're delivering the body blows about the DJ thing! I SURRENDER!

You should drink beer more often! Next month, I'll be brewing up a batch? So, tell me, what kind of beer do you like? Hmm?
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on April 23rd, 2010 06:34 am (UTC)
Mmmm, beer.
I have, in the past, referred to Guinness Extra Stout as "my light beer". This is a slight exaggeration; really, I reserve stuff like Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout for Special Occasions.* Ales, Porters and Stouts are my usual range, but I will occasionally drift as light as a Corona if the mood strikes (I'm more likely to have a Negra Modelo with Mexican food, though).

(I've been drinking Red Tail Ale lately, because that's the preferred brand of thoughtsdriftby.)

*Watching a bootleg of Roger Corman's Fantastic Four took TWO Old Raspys.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on April 23rd, 2010 07:25 am (UTC)
Re: Mmmm, beer.
Have you had a Belgian-style dubbel? They're a good strong brown beer that doesn't use hops but a gruit (which nowadays is stuff like orange zest and coriander with some hops, but it's a little old school, sorta, y'know, Middle Ages to make a beer with a gruit instead of hops, except in Belgium, which pretty much has the best beer in the world).

Would you like to?! ;)
A.R.M.: applevenuskinkyturtle on April 23rd, 2010 08:43 am (UTC)
I, on the other appendage, have embraced shuffle play warmly because I started getting tired of the phenomenon where I hear a song, and then I get the song that comes after it on the album stuck in my head. Listening to music in cassette form for several years imposed an absolute order on the mostly-unrelated songs in an album, and CD players with shuffle play gave me the chance to break free of that.

There are a few CDs that I don't shuffle; mostly concept albums, quasi-concept albums or quasi-song-cycle albums such as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Skylarking and Pop Goes The World.